It’s being reported today that Britons who refuse to wear face coverings in newly-mandatory settings could be fined £200.
It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a Downing Street news conference on Saturday evening, alongside Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance.
During the news conference, a number of new measures were announced that are set to be introduced from tomorrow in a bid to curb the spread of the new Omicron variant, and one of those measures was the compulsory wearing of face coverings on public transport, and in shops and retail settings.
There was no mention or confirmation of fines during the conference.
But now, according to a report published in the Telegraph, those challenged about not wearing a mask will face a fine of £200, which rises to £400 for a second offence, and £800 for a third, and could even continue to accumulate up to £6,400 for the worst repeat offenders.
A change to regulations will be tabled in the House of Commons on Monday before the rules come into effect on Tuesday, the newspaper reported.
Measures taking effect from 4am tomorrow:
Everyone entering the UK – other than those coming from the Common Travel Area that covers the Channel Islands and Ireland – will have to take a PCR test by the end of the second full day after their arrival and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
All contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate, regardless of whether or not they are fully vaccinated.
Face coverings will be made compulsory on public transport and in shops – but pubs and restaurants will remain exempt.
The mask-wearing fining system will remain the same as during the third national lockdown, and those who pay their first fine within 14 days will see the charge halved to £100.
The re-introduction of compulsory mask-wearing in shops and on public transport is one part of a host of measures aimed at preventing the spread of the Omicron variant – first discovered in South Africa – of which there have been three cases detected in the UK, and, as announced this morning, six cases detected in Scotland.
It also comes as the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is due to make a decision on booster jabs and vaccine rollouts as early as today.
Health secretary Sajid Javid said the measures being introduced from 4am tomorrow were proportionate given the threat of the Omicron variant – which scientists fear could be more transmissible and vaccine resistant.
He told Sky News yesterday: “Doing it in this proportionate way where it’s for public transport, it’s for retail outlets, I think is the right level of response on masks.
“It will be via government regulation and that means, I think, that people will take it seriously.”
Mr Javid also claimed that the tightening of the rules would make Britons take the threat of the virus “more seriously”.
The rules will be reviewed in three weeks time.
Featured Image – TfGM
Rival Manchester fans urged to use different Wembley travel routes for FA Cup final
Football fans from rival Manchester clubs heading to watch the FA Cup final this weekend are being urged to take different travel routes to each other.
With it being the first time the two Manchester clubs have battled it out for the trophy in the final in the 151-year-old football competition’s illustrious history, tens of thousands of fans are expected to make the journey down to the capital.
But with this influx of excitable rival fans, admittedly, comes a set of challenges.
This is why The FA and TfGM have decided to introduce some measures, and issue travel tips and guidance, in a bid to make sure everyone stays safe, while still soaking in all the atmosphere of the historic day at the same time.
Due to what TfGM has called “significant” coordinated strike action by rail unions RMT and Aslef on Saturday, all supporters heading to the FA Cup final are advised to avoid trains and “consider alternative travel arrangements” instead – making sure to allow “additional time for travel” and planning their journeys “ahead of time”.
Fans are also being asked to check the road network carefully, as it’s also highly likely that traditional routes to Wembley will be “busier than normal” as a result of rail strikes.
The FA has confirmed that it will be providing 60 coaches for both Manchester clubs to help supporters get to Wembley and return to Manchester once the game has finished, but aside from this, TfGM has suggested that “anyone without an official match ticket should not travel to the game”.
The two Manchester clubs have been advised to encourage fans to use separate travel routes to each other to avoid clashes, and a list of service stations for each team has now also been published – confirming all the rumours to be true.
Allocation of motorway service stations
Manchester City supporters
Manchester United supporters
When it comes to the travel routes supporters of each team are advised to take, TfGM is urging Manchester City fans to take the M62/M1 as the first port of call, or taking the M6/M1 or M6/M6 Toll/M1 as a back-up option.
Manchester United supporters are encouraged to take the M6/M42/M40.
On top of information on travel routes and service station allocations, TfGM has also shared tips for matchday parking, tube travel around London, and more.
Two teens arrested after death of 21-year-old man found with ‘serious injuries’ in Old Trafford
Two teenage boys have been arrested following the death of a 21-year-old man who was found with “serious injuries” in Manchester.
The arrests come after Greater Manchester Police (GMP) was called to reports of a “disturbance” at an address on Kings Road in the Old Trafford area of Manchester at around 7:45pm yesterday evening (Wednesday 31 May), where a 21-year-old victim was found seriously injured.
Despite the best efforts of the first responders, the young man was sadly pronounced dead at the scene, GMP confirmed.
Following the incident, additional police officers have been deployed to the Old Trafford area.
It has now also been confirmed by GMP that two teenage boys have been arrested in connection with this incident – a 15-year-old on suspicion of murder, and a 16-year-old on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon in the nearby area.
Both remain in custody ahead of questioning.
A murder investigation has now been launched, which GMP says is currently in the “very early stages”, and police are urgently appealing for witnesses to come forward with any information or footage which may assist with this.
“A team of experienced officers will be working throughout the night and over the coming days to understand a timeline of events that will help us piece together what has happened,” explained Detective Superintendent Jane Higham.
“We recognise that incidents of this nature will cause concern in our communities, not just in Old Trafford, but across Greater Manchester, and as a result there will be a visible increase of police officers in the area over the coming days whilst detectives investigate.
“Anyone with any concerns is encouraged to come and speak to us.”
DS Higham is urging anyone who was in the Old Trafford area at the time of the incident yesterday evening, or anyone who has mobile, dashcam, doorbell, or CCTV footage that may be of interest, to contact us GMP as “even the smallest piece of evidence may help with our investigation and provide answers for the young man’s family”.
Anyone with information is asked to contact GMP on 101 quoting log number 3367 31/5/2023.